An author can churn out one gripping page turner after another. But without a good agent or promoter, that author’s chances of reaching the best-sellers list are slim to none. Many IT service providers are in the same boat today. They excel at solving complex technical issues yet struggle when it comes to growing their own business and attracting new clients.
According to a report by Market Research Future, the managed services industry is projected to reach a whopping $245 billion in revenue by the end of 2022. This meteoric rise represents the proverbial double-edged sword for MSPs. Endless opportunities await on one end. On the other end is an increasingly complex marketing landscape born from the sheer growth of the industry. Securing new clients will naturally become more challenging when there are more service providers vying for their business.
Marketing is essential to the survival of any company in today’s fiercely competitive climate. We have selected three marketing fundamentals all MSPs must perfect in order to thrive in the digital era.
1. Commit to Content
The digital age has already spawned its fair share of memorable proverbs and adages. If you want to make your mark in marketing, you need to get familiar with one saying in particular: “content is king.” Insightful, valuable content will help you engage potential clients, earn their trust, and generate leads that eventually convert and result in the business growth you seek. With everything from blogs and YouTube videos to eBooks and podcasts at your disposal, you have the power to craft the type of content that best suits your target audience.
While content is a powerful weapon, simply creating it is only half the battle. Content marketing requires a balanced mix of producing useful information and actually getting it to the right people. True, every MSP outfit is unique. But with an effective SEO strategy and active social media presence behind you, sharing relevant new material on a regular basis can greatly increase the reach of your content. The key is focusing more on sharing your expertise and less on pushing your services—even if that is the objective.
2. Build a Network
While you essentially control your own destiny, you should never underestimate the value of a potent networking strategy. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some of the best tools available for connecting with like-minded professionals. There are also a number of resources specially designed to help industry practitioners make the most of their networking opportunities. For instance, the MSP Alliance provides convenient access to event info, channel programs, a centralized partnership directory, and other content that can be used to form strategic alliances.
Now more than ever, achieving marketing success hinges on your ability to demonstrate thought leadership and build an effective network. From sophisticated mobile devices to cloud-friendly business apps, you have all the right tools at your fingertips. The only thing left to do is use them to build progressive networks that help your MSP business grow and reach new heights.
3. Consider Outsourcing
MSPs understand the true value of outsourcing. The very idea of managed services is built around recognizing where you need help, and bringing in experts from outside of the company to fill the void. If marketing is an area you struggle in, it may be time to start practicing what you preach by giving outsourcing a try.
A third-party specialist can play an integral role in sharpening your marketing edge. This could be as straightforward as helping your company develop a social media presence, or as complex as formulating ideas for a targeted mobile advertising campaign. Nothing beats having your own fully functioning marketing team in-house. If that’s something you can manage, great. But if you rush into it, you might end up biting off more than you can chew. Consider outsourcing to support your existing marketing needs until you can afford to assemble your own in-house team.
Business is unpredictable and there are never any guarantees. However, with all the bases covered, you’ll be in position to hit a grand slam with your marketing strategy.